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I am actually asking this question in place of a co worker of mine, we will call him Bill. I am currently the tech lead of our company and one of my co workers, who I am in charge of on the technical side, approached me today. Bill is a junior level security engineer simply because he only has 1 year of experience. Having said that, Bill works as if he has 10 years in the industry, truly.

Recently we have been getting more clients and Bill has had to take lead on some projects when my plate is full. Our senior management tags Bill on the emails and such and says "Hello client A, Bill, a senior level security engineer, will be your point of contact". Bill's official job title is "junior security engineer" (on his contract) and gets paid as such.

Bill approached me today and asked if it is wise to talk to management about this and request a new official job title, which would come with salary, perks,etc. I really didn't have a answer for him other than it seems a bit unfair, after all, Bill does senior level work and they tell clients he is a senior, but gets paid like a junior.

How should I help Bill when He brings it up with me tomorrow? Is this fair for the company to tell clients he is senior level but pay him significantly less?

Thanks!

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    I would argue that a "junior security engineer" could still be a "senior level security engineer", level being key. I also think it's fair for the company to represent him anyway they choose; as an exec, I often dress down to "marketing director" or "technical lead" for various reasons to help the business (to which I'm responsible). Should he ask for a raise is a whole new question, but he should trust the bosses to handle the client framing. – dandavis May 15 '18 at 1:03
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Basically you pay the colleague acc. to his length of experience, not his skills or the job he does.

This is unfair to him. It's also not ok for your clients as you are currently misleading them.

The fair version would be

  • either to assume that he's junior, which is why he's still learning, he gets paid less and he needs supervision on projects with clients
  • or to admit he has the necessary skills already, should be paid more and can represent your company unsupervised.

On a more personal note, I was in the same situation as your junior/senior engineer and the sense of unfairness is something that can decrease job satisfaction dramatically. If you don't take care of him, he might soon search for his senior position elsewhere.

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    Right. This isn't a guy we can lose and easily find again. I think I'll take this approach tomorrow. I don't have the power to give him a raise but he doesn't deserve to be underappreciated financially – pm1391 May 15 '18 at 5:06

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